In a huge step forward for women’s safety, misogyny will now be recorded as a hate crime by the police in England and Wales.
Following the debate around women’s safety sparked by the unfortunate Sarah Everard case, calls were repeated for a new law to be introduced.
London Mayer, Sadiq Khan, shared the following Tweet this week: “Misogyny will now be recorded as a hate crime – a HUGE victory for everyone involved in this cross-party campaign.”
The announcement follows the promises from stores such as Tesco and Asda, who have said their shops can be used as ‘safe spaces’, for anyone who is concerned for their safety.
This new law means that any criminal offence carried out because of hatred of, contempt for or prejudice against women and girls, will now be recorded as a hate crime and therefore grants the judge sentencing powers, allowing them to increase the punishment as a result.
In addition to potentially longer sentences and more severe punishments, the law will also ensure the recording of these crimes will allow the police to identify patterns and trends around when and where these are taking place. This will be an important step in prevention.
Home Office minister, Baroness Williams of Trafford, said that the change would be made initially on an “experimental” basis. A long-term decision will then be made after ministers have seen a review into hate crime by the Law Commission.
Labour MP Stella Creasy, a key leader in the demand for a change in law, said: “I’m delighted that the government has listened to this cross-party and grassroots campaign to make misogyny a hate crime and is now taking the first steps towards making it happen.”
“Now we want the government to implement the outcome of the Law Commission review in the sentencing bill so that our courts start to take misogyny and the crimes it drives seriously, too.”